POSTED: 1 MARCH 2008 - 6:00pm HST

Superferry damage documented on KGMB

image above: Still from video of damage to hull of Superferry

[Editor's Note: This confirms reports that additional structural damage has been don to the Superferry. But, it appears that the location of the Superferry in dry dock is at Pier 42 in Honolulu. We are not sure what that means in terms of previous aerial photos of dry dock position near Ko Olina Marina. More later.]

by KGMB9 News on 28 February 2008 at

The streak of bad luck for the Superferry continues while in drydock the ship sustained more damage.

The blocks it rests on damaged the hull on both sides.

On Friday, KGMB9 could see crews working on some of the problem areas also when it was being towed into the harbor. The tugboat lost power and the Superferry drifted into the pier.

All this along with the damaged rudder that was the original problem.

The Coast Guard will inspect the entire ship and give it the go ahead when the repairs are made.

The Superferry plans to be back in service March 25.



POSTED: 29 FEBRUARY 2008 - 7:00am HST

Superferry suffers structural damage

image above: Hawaii Superferry in dry dock on Oahu. Photo from Lee Tepley

Editorial on 28 February 2008 on

First the Kahului barge broke loose the night after Judge Cardoza lifted the injunction. Then more storms, more damage, more barge breaking loose and many canceled service days.

Then damage to the rudder housing.

Now, unconfirmed reports state:

From sources/eyewitnesses close to the HSF dry dock:

When HSF was being positioned to enter the floating dry dock facility it went aground on a sandbar. A tug was used to move it off the sandbar, during the move the tug pushed a 20’ x 20’ dent into the side of the HSF. HSF encountered a few more bumps in trying to position itself. When they finally got the vessel in the floating dry dock, they went about putting blocking into place. The goal is to set the vessel perfectly on these blocks.

The key to the blocks is they must be set directly under each frame of the vessel. Failure to do so results in pressure on unsupported plate and massive damage. This procedure is critical for any dry dock and the utmost care is taken. HSF entered the floating dry dock, blocks were in place and lines were fastened from above to keep the vessel in place.

The dry dock was raised (water level lowered). However, attendants failed to slacken the lines. Pressure mounted, the lines snapped, causing one side of the facility to break off and fall onto HSF, causing major damage. It gets worse. When the lines snapped the vessel shifted and the blocking missed the frames, causing damage the entire length of both hulls. The hull is now structurally damaged, dented and serpentine. The USCG has ordered massive work to be done.

As of this writing negotiations are under way with USCG to formulate a plan of repair. The damage is so extensive, no one is sure when or if it will ever get out of dry dock.

One long-time worker at an adjacent boat yard stated: “I don’t think that vessel will ever be put back into service”.

This is what happens when you come to Hawai'i and do business in bad faith. The Hawaiian gods don't much like greedy businesspeople killing their aumakua (the whales).

I sure wouldn't ride this cursed ship!

image above: Hawaii Superferry in dry dock on Oahu. Photo from Lee Tepley



POSTED: 27 FEBRUARY 2008 - 9:00am HST

Did Superferry create oil spill off Ko Olina?

image above: Traces of oil spill photographed by USCG found on

[Editor's Note: It would seem that the time-line and simplest explanation for the source of the oil spill is the accident that occurred gettin the Superferry into dry dock. The hull was damaged, and may have been breached. The USCG should answer whether they have considered that possibility.]

Coast Guard monitors oil spill off Ko Olina
by staff on 23 February 2008 in The Honolulu Advertiser

A three-mile-long oil sheen off the coast of West O'ahu chased dozens of people from the beaches of Ko Olina Resort today, but did not appear to cause significant environmental damage or injuries, officials said.

The Coast Guard estimated the spill at 500 gallons and was monitoring the sheen as it moved westward late this afternoon and was trying to determine its source.
Investigators said the sheen appears to be similar to a diesel-like marine fuel that evaporates quickly, said Coast Guard Lt. John Titchen.

About 150 people using the beaches and lagoons at Ko Olina late this morning were asked to stay away from the water, Titchen said. Most then left the beach area voluntarily.

Some beachgoers in the area reported a strong smell of diesel fuel; others said they could feel a light touch of oil on their skin.

No one was injured, according to the Honolulu Fire Department.

The oil sheen was reported in the water of three of the four lagoons at Ko Olina, but had not come ashore anywhere else, Titchen said.

image above: Ko Olina Resort and Marina next to Deep Water Harbor on Oahu. From GoogleEarth.

Spill spoils day at Ko Olina

by staff on 24 February 2008 in The Honolulu Advertiser

An oil spill chased about 150 people from the lagoons of Ko Olina Resort yesterday, but did not appear to cause any significant injuries or environmental damage, officials said.

The oil from an unknown source, estimated to be about 500 gallons, spread a light 3-mile sheen in the water from Barbers Point to Kahe Point, said Coast Guard Lt. John Titchen. It was moving west last night, he said.

The Coast Guard was monitoring the spill with a helicopter, C-130 plane and a 47-foot boat last night. Using money from a national oil spill recovery fund, it also hired a local company, Pacific Environmental Corp., to lead cleanup efforts.

The sheen came ashore at three of the lagoons at Ko Olina about 11 a.m., causing some people in the water to report a strong diesel smell in the air and a light touch of oil on their skin, officials said. Several people in Nanakuli also reported encountering the oil last night, he said.

Titchen said the sheen appeared similar to marine diesel fuel, which evaporates fairly quickly.

At least two other spills of a similar size and substance have been reported in Hawai'i waters in the past year, he said.

No one was seriously injured, said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig.
Security personnel at Ko Olina walked the beaches yesterday advising people to stay out of the water. By late afternoon the beachfront lagoons, which normally have hundreds of people on a sunny Saturday afternoon, were all but deserted.

"The good news is there's plenty of parking, and we got a cabana for shade," said Yvonne Walker of Salt Lake, who came to the beach with family members, including 5-month-old granddaughter, Milanna, who was making her first visit to any beach.

"A lot of people went home, but we're just not going in the water," said Walker's daughter, Amber. "When we get hot, we go use the showers."

The Coast Guard was working last night to determine the source of the spill, Titchen said. The state Health Department also was investigating.

"It's mostly offshore at this point, but there is some shoreline impact," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cameron. "We'll be out here working to ensure there is as little impact to the environment as possible."

Source of 500-gallon oil spill is unknown
by staff on 25 February 2008 in The Honolulu Advertiser

Coast Guard pollution investigators reported yesterday that an oil slick off Ko Olina, along the Wai'anae Coast, has mostly dissipated and had little impact on the shoreline. The cause of the slick remained under investigation.

The estimated 500-gallon spill of marine diesel fuel caused a 3-mile slick between Barbers Point and Nanakuli Saturday.

Swimming lagoons at Ko Olina Resort were evacuated by resort security personnel as a precaution.
The Coast Guard and state agencies are working to find the source of the spill. Pacific Environmental Corp. has been hired to do any necessary cleanup.
No visible shoreline damage has been reported.

Minor vessel damage has been reported. Boat owners with questions are urged to call the Coast Guard at 808-842-2672 for more information.




POSTED: 21 FEBRUARY 2008 - 7:15am HST

Superferry damaged on way to dry dock

image above: Close-up of Googleearth view of Marisco Dry Dock in Deep WaterHarbor on Oahu.
Note: red rectangle is approximate size of Superferry.

[Editor's Note: The following report was held until a partial confirmation was available from the Honolulu Advertiser. This story, if true, is more bad news for the future operation of the Superferry.]

Did tug seriuously damage Superferry?
by Bill Schultz on 19 February 2008

I just heard an unconfirmed report from a sea-faring friend on Maui. She says the ferry was being towed into drydock when the lines parted. She went aground and got stuck in the mud. A tug was called to push her off.

It pushed a big hole in the side, damaging two of her ribs and at least two of the decks. Major repairs. Cursed ship. Have you heard anything about this?


HSF Drydock extended 3 weeks
by staff on 20 February 2008 in The Honolulu Advertiser

The Hawaii Superferry will remain in drydock until March 24, three weeks longer than originally planned.

Superferry officials said today the extended drydock time is needed to repair damage to the Alakai's hull that occurred during the drydocking process and additional maintenance needs have been identified.

The Alakai was originally scheduled to resume service on March 3rd.

Reservations for the March 25 sailing and beyond are now being accepted.
Superferry officials said passengers holding reservations for affected voyages are being notified, re-accommodated on a future voyage or refunded.


Were HSF Harbor Designs Rushed
by Bill Schultz on 20 February 2008

I was looking for information to confirm or deny the rumored damage to the HSF and came across this useful site:

You'll find an emergency requisition request for the services of a Naval architect regarding a barge in Kahului. It's:

I thought it odd that the requirements and scope of work require that the findings 'shall support assurances that the operations of state owned equipment are in the interest of safety of the operators and the general public', that the report should 'Provide load calculation, stamped by a professional engineer, for the Kahlui barge soft line mooring system SHOWING THE ADEQUACY AND INTEGRITY OF THE LINES AND MOORING SYSTEM' (emphasis added) and furthur that 'The calculations should be based on the basis of the original mooring system'.

Apparently, the state had not previously had the load calculations performed by a professional naval architect or they would have simply produced the document at the CG's request after the barge broke loose and the bollards were sheered off.

Would a reputable naval architect agree to the terms of the requested report given that the calculations had not yet been performed but the results are already specified?

Why was the no-bid work awarded to a company as far away as Alexandria, VA when another emergency procurement regarding naval architect services and the barge evaluation was awarded to a local company on the same day? See:

Why would the winner of the $12,000.00 contract agree to these terms unless they had some interest in getting the HSF into service at the earliest possible date?

The company is Alion Science and Technology, rated number 79 in the top 100 defense contractors of 2007.

The same company whose declared growth strategy includes 'we anticipate expanding our support to the U.S. Navy in new ship systems such as DD(x) and LCS'. "LCS" is navspeak for "Littoral Combat Ship". This quote is from the 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange commision and can be found at:

The same company whose chief science advisor is retired Admiral Edward Lindquist, one of the most prolific writers and outspoken advocates of LCS development.,
+Tested+at+ Panama+City-202603.html

I haven't found what I was looking for yet but I thought you'd be interested in this revoltin' development.



POSTED: 9 FEBRUARY 2008 - 5:30pm HST

Carlyle Group Dry Dock for Superferry

image above: Marisco Dry Dock in Deep Draft Harbor in Kapolei, Oahu

by Juan Wilson on 9 February 2008

Unconfirmed report from Hector Ryzak is that the Superferry Alakai is in a dry dock owned by Marisco near Barbers Point on Oahu. Marisco is owned by the Carlyle Group (Bush family multinational corporation). In the GoogleEarth image above the dry dock is the large barge-like vessel moored near the white roofed building. In GoogleEarth it scales over 500 feet long by over 100 feet wide. That is ample to handle the Superferry.

A controversy has followed the dry dock's move from Alaska to Hawaii in 2001. See

This document, on the internet, from the law firm of Morisset, Schlosser, Jozwiak & McGaw states:



An impoverished Alaskan island in the Bering Sea faces economic catastrophe if the federal government succeeds in pressing proposed economic sanctions against it. These documents show the tortured paper trail of Tanadgusix Corporation’s (TDX) acquisition of the de-commissioned Navy drydock Ex-Competent for use in Hawaii, which has led to this peril...

...Matters turned threatening on September 26, 2003, when the United States filed a complaint against TDX and Marisco charging them with making false statements to obtain federal property, an action under the Federal False Claims Act that seeks damages of more than $15 million dollars, for a drydock the Navy classes as scrap.


image above: Marisco Dry Dock as seen from inside the Deep DraftHarbor

For details about Marisco visit:

They say of themselves:


Marisco is one of the largest marine and industrial services companies in Hawaii. The facility is located at the Barbers Point Deep Draft Harbor near Campbell Industrial Park, Kapolei, Hawaii. The firm offers a wide spectrum of services including drydocking, machining, welding, blasting, painting, environmental cleanup, pipefitting, rigging, machinery troubleshooting and repairs. Marisco operates the largest commercial drydock and biggest industrial machine shop in the state. Marisco serves the governmental, commercial marine and industrial sectors of Hawaii. The governmental sector includes U. S. Navy, U. S. Coast Guard, and Military Sealift Command work.

The local ship repair industry hit a low point after Navy jobs began to dry up. In the past, Navy work amounted to 60 to 70 percent of the business of the island's two largest private yards -- Honolulu Shipyard and Marisco Ltd. Budget cuts in recent years meant Navy contracts went from $37 million in 1995 to $13 million in 1999.

Company founder Alfred Anawati established Marsico in 1972. In April 2001 United States Marine Repair (USMR), America's largest non-nuclear ship repair, modernization, overhaul and conversion company, signed a letter of intent to buy Marisco, Ltd., one of only two full-service shipyards in Hawaii. The acquisition gave USMR a strong local presence and an additional facility in which to perform work for the U.S. government and commercial customers. A company statement pointed to the increased demand for U.S. Navy fleet modernization, including the need for more surface ship work on cruisers and destroyers home ported in Pearl Harbor. USMR shipyards are located in San Diego, San Pedro and San Francisco, Calif.; Norfolk, Va., the company's corporate headquarters; and Ingleside, Tex.

The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm, owned USMR. Frank C. Carlucci, former secretary of defense and assistant to the president for national security affairs under President Reagan is the chairman of Carlyle. James A. Baker, III, who has served as the 61st secretary of state in the Bush Administration and in other senior levels of the US government under three different presidents, is also a principal in The Carlyle Group. The acquisition closed in mid-June 2001.




POSTED: 9 FEBRUARY 2008 - 9:30am HST

Sperferry to go to dry dock to fix rudders

image above: elevation of Superferry on shipbuilder Austal's website. Click to enlarge.

[Editor's Note: HSF was forced to remove the rudders after determining the extent
of damage. I maintain that the little evidence we have suggests the rudder damage caused the ship to take on water. Temporary removal of the rudders and "patching" the damage did not work. The Alakai's was not stable enough to operate and has forced HSF into a three week dry dock for structural repairs. Without additional engineering, I would suggest that this will not be more than a temporary solution. Austal's (ship builder) website indicates that the original structural engineering was 'optimized" to reduce weight. This might mean the hull is designed like an eggshell and is close to limit of expected forces that can be applied to it. In illustration above note what appears to be auxilliary rudder at stern, and t-foil stabilizer near bow]

Rough sailing forces Superferry on early break

by Dave Segal on 8 February 2008 in the Honolulu Start Bulletin

Hawaii Superferry, plagued by weather- and equipment-related shutdowns and low ridership levels, said yesterday it will place its 349-foot vessel into dry dock for nearly three weeks for maintenance and recertification by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The company said the mandatory annual dry dock, originally scheduled for May, was moved up to Wednesday through March 2 to take advantage of the off-peak travel season and to make permanent repairs related to the ship's auxiliary rudders. Passengers holding reservations are being notified and will be reaccommodated on a future voyage or refunded.

Hawaii Superferry, which restarted service Dec. 13 after a court-ordered shutdown in August over environmental concerns, had based its break-even business model on carrying an average of 400 passengers and 110 vehicles per trip.

But the numbers to date have been far below those levels, in part because the restart of service was hampered by heavy winter seas.

An exhibit filed by state Deputy Attorney General William Wynhoff with Maui Circuit Court on Jan. 31 showed that the number of passengers booked during January between Honolulu and Maui ranged from 83 to 349 on days that the Superferry actually operated. The number of vehicles for those days ranged from 19 on the 6:30 a.m. New Year's Day voyage to as many as 94 vehicles.

The Superferry did not operate for seven days in January -- Jan. 16-17 and Jan. 27-31 -- due to weather conditions and rudder-related repairs, but bookings were nevertheless still shown for those days in the court filing -- with one day showing as few as seven passengers and four other days with 20 or fewer passengers.
Terry O'Halloran, director of business development for the Superferry, said that the Superferry has not carried "anything close to those low numbers." The numbers filed with the court were bookings and "not actual numbers," he said.

"They're a snapshot of our booking report," O'Halloran said. "They're not accurate numbers. Passengers are booking relatively close to the time of travel, so at no time did we book anywhere close to the low numbers shown on there. Those (low) numbers say to me they were taken several days before those dates because those numbers reflect early bookings."

O'Halloran said that he did not have exact daily counts available, but that the 83-to-349 range produced in the exhibit on the days of operation sounded "about right."

"With any startup, you have a ramp-up period before you get to the number that you're anticipating, and we definitely want to see higher numbers," he said. "But we're not disappointed with the numbers we're currently having, especially in consideration of starting up in the winter season. We're looking forward to having the boat come out of dry dock in great shape and getting back into service and providing the service that we intended for the people of Hawaii."

O'Halloran said the Superferry had planned on being idled for 2 to 3 percent of the time during the winter season due to inclement weather but that the downtime for the rudder repairs was unexpected. He said the rudders, which are used to improve passenger comfort and fuel efficiency, were removed for an interim repair but that the Superferry found that without them the ride suffered.

"So we thought we'd just move up the timetable and do permanent repairs on the rudders and maximize our passenger comfort and take care of our annual dry-dock requirement at the same time," O'Halloran said.

O'Halloran said construction "is a little bit ahead of schedule" in Mobile, Ala., on the Superferry's second vessel, which is scheduled to go into service in early 2009.

"We're committed to Hawaii and to the long term for providing this alternative form of interisland travel," he said. "The second vessel will allow us to connect all of the islands and provide a level of service greater than we can provide with one vessel."
O'Halloran said the Superferry is still looking at beginning a second daily voyage to Maui beginning this spring. It has yet to set a date when service will resume to Kauai.

see also:
Island Breath: HSF Rudder Mess
Island Breath: January HSF News
Island Breath: HSF night trips
Island Breath: HSF military trips
Island Breath: HSF EIS Smoking Gun
Island Breath: HSF two trips